River Falls Police: Roomie situation turns into meth bust
At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, police were called to a residence in the 500 block of West Division Street for a report that a roommate moving out of an apartment wanted police to speak with the roommate who was not moving out as she was allegedly making it difficult for the complainant to gather her belongings from the residence. The complainant told police the other roommate, identified as Alicia Marie Lee, 28, River Falls, used meth and prescription drugs. When police knocked on the door, Lee appeared to be under the influence of meth, according to the police report. There were red pit marks on her leg and feet, which are commonly seen on meth users. Her cheeks also twitched involuntarily; she was fidgety and agitated.
Lee told police her former roommate was welcome to pick up her belongings at any time, but had refused and would not come to the residence because the two were on bad terms. When asked if she had used drugs in the past, Lee allegedly said yes. She said "it's been quite some time" since she'd done drugs. However, when police told her she appeared to be under the influence, she y did not deny it, and said "How can you tell?"
Meth was located on a microwave plate in Lee's bedroom. She told police the meth belonged to the other roommate. The plate also contained several straws, a $1 bill, pick and a razorblade. When asked why this roommate would leave meth at the apartment, Lee said "This is how (she) is."
Numerous pill bottles were also found, which Lee said were for allergies and anxiety. Officers found more than 24 types of pills, totalling 750 pills. Lee was asked to bring prescriptions to the police department the next day for the pills, to show they were hers. She did not contact the police. Police returned and spoke with her, and told her charges for possession of meth and possession of a controlled substance would be referred to the Pierce County District Attorney.
• At 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, police responded to a crash at Cemetery Road and South Sixth Street. A vehicle driven by a 17-year-old River Falls resident hit another vehicle. The juvenile was cited for following too closely and released. The juvenile allegedly saw the other car stopped, due to another car stopping for people in the crosswalk. She said she panicked and went to brake but hit the gas instead and hit the rear of the other vehicle.
• At 11:14 p.m. Sunday Sept. 9, police were sent to Main Street and Paulson Road for a report of a two-vehicle accident. Rachel Anne Elling, 35, Beldenville, was traveling north on Main Street approaching Paulson Road, when the light turned green and she collided with another vehicle. She said she was driving 35 miles per hour but thought the car in front of her was going faster and misjudged the timing. She was cited $111.40 for inattentive driving.
• At 6:55 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, police were sent to Family Fresh Market, 303 S. Main St., for a report of shoplifting. Devin Arthur McDonald , 21, Inver Grove Heights, Minne., was being held in the loss prevention department when police arrived. He had attempted to leave the store without paying for a protein bar. When asked if he had any more items on his person, McDonald pulled two more protein bars out of his shorts. This was the second time Family Fresh staff had caught McDonald attempting to shoplift from Family Fresh. He was arrested. Dispatchers ran the information for a different Devin Arthur McDonald, one who was wanted on felony and misdemeanor bail jumping, and McDonald was arrested and taken to Pierce County Jail. Police realized the mistake, picked up McDonald, and returned him to the River Falls Police Department where he was booked, cited $187 for retail theft, then released.
• At 6:56 a.m. Aug. 30, police were sent to the 500 block of Birch Street for a theft. Private contractor Hydro-Klean is reportedly doing manhole rehabilitation throughout the city. On that morning, workers found seven traffic cones and one barricade missing.
• At 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, police were sent to an address in the 500 block of North Clark Street for a theft. A resident reported a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses and a Smith and Wesson revolver as stolen.
• On Wednesday, Sept. 6, BP Amoco, 700 N. Main St., reported a Buick Lesabre with Minnesota plates drove off without paying for 15 gallons of gas, worth $43.15.
• At 7:08 p.m. Sept. 9, police received a theft complaint via phone. Two bicycles were reported stolen. They were left unlocked near center parking racks outside Domino's Pizza. They were left around 5 p.m. and gone when the owners returned.
• At 1:54 p.m. Sept. 10, police were sent to Family Fresh Market for an uncooperative shoplifter. In the loss prevention office, police found a 16-year-old River Falls juvenile with three Family Fresh employees. The juvenile had a small abrasion/scrape on her neck which was bleeding. Loss prevention staff told police that she tried to leave the office and when staff wouldn't let her, she tried to harm herself with a pair of scissors. The juvenile repeated several times that she needed to get home so she could take her medication. The juvenile was reportedly told that she is going to be arrested for shoplifting, taken to the police department, cited, and could contact her parents to pick her up. At this point she began to hit herself on the side the head with a closed fist. When police grabbed her fist so she could not do this, she allegedly began hitting herself with the other hand. Her cell phone was taken away from her so police could handcuff her to prevent her from hitting herself. At this point she began "swinging wildly" at police. She was taken to the floor and handcuffed, where she began banging her head against the floor. She was restrained and taken to police department. An electronic vaping device containing tobacco was found in the juvenile's backpack with tobacco in it. The teen was cited for a minor possessing tobacco. The juvenile had taken $103.47 worth of items from Family Fresh. She was cited for retail theft and released to parents.
Meth found in sock, underwear
At 4:21 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, police saw a silver Mercury Cougar driving by with a license plate that was registered to a red Chevrolet Tracker. The vehicle was illegally parked outside a trailer in Cudd's Court, in the 1400 block of South Wasson Lane. The resident of that trailer was known to police as a meth user.
Two officers parked their vehicles near each exit of Cudd's Court. When the vehicle reached one end of the trailer court, it abruptly turned back in and went the other way.
The vehicle eventually turned into East Cemetery Road, and was pulled over on East Cemetery Road near Sixth Street. The driver was identified as Joshua Franklin Michels, 38, River Falls.
He was speaking very quickly and had difficulty staying on one subject. This reportedly led police to suspect Michels was under the influence of meth.He was able to provide a title for the vehicle he was driving.
After a search inside his vehicle, officers found a black sunglasses case containing a glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth, seven red and white capsules with markings on them, which were Lyrica 75 mg, a schedule V controlled substance; a hypodermic needle with no cap wand liquid inside, a digital scale with a white crystal-like residue, a bag containing small plastic gem bags with a small amount of white crystal-like substance and a multicolored glass pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana. A small gem bag of meth was also found inside Michels' left sock.
He was arrested and taken to Pierce County Jail. On the way there, he told police he'd hidden more meth in his underwear and he wanted to turn it over to police so he would not receive additional charges for bringing it into jail. Michels turned over a plastic container of meth to police.
He was cited $161.80 for displaying an unauthorized vehicle registration plate. He was booked into jail for possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule V controlled substance and felony bail jumping charges.
Battery & bail jumping
At 1:01 a.m. Sept. 2, police were sent to the intersection of Main and Summit streets where an ambulance had been flagged down by a woman waiting to speak to an officer about a man who was with her. When police arrived, the woman was crying hysterically and afraid of the man who accompanied her. The man was later identified as Jason O. Pannell, 39, River Falls. Pannell appeared drunk.
The woman told officers she and the man had gotten into an argument earlier in the evening.The woman said she left the residence on her bicycle and Pannell followed her. The woman said the man began calling her derogatory names and swearing at her. He also allegedly threatened to kill her child.The woman also said the man used a racial slur to refer to the child.
Pannell admitted to using those derogatory terms to refer to the woman and the child and said he was sorry for it. Pannell allegedly broke "a large amount of items" in the kitchen of the residence they'd been in. He received a .05 result on a preliminary breath test. The woman received a .00. Pannell was arrested for domestic disorderly conduct.
Jason Odell Pannell DOB 10-13-79
At 8:30 p.m. Sept. 4, police were sent to speak with a woman about a restraining order violation. Pannell had allegedly contacted the woman by phone while a no-contact order was in place. He allegedly told the woman he thought "no contact" meant violent contact only. The woman said she told him he was not to call, text, use social media, or see her in person, then hung up the phone.
Pannell was visited by police. When asked if he had called the woman he said he did not. Police informed him they had received a complaint about him calling the woman, in violation of the no-contact order. The number used to call the woman's phone belonged to Anthony's Tobacco, 703 N. Main St. A store employee told police a man matching Pannell's description asked to use the phone and made a phone call from the store phone. Security footage showed Pannell making a call. When asked why he lied, Pannell said he made a mistake and did not know he was to have no contact. He was arrested and taken to St. Croix County Jail for bail jumping.
• At 1:35 p.m. Sept. 4, police were sent to Value Stay Inn, 708 N. Main St. where a couple had paid their room bill for one night with a counterfeit $100 bill. A hotel manager attempted to use the bill to pay for paint at Home Depot, but Home Depot identified the bill as fake. On Sept. 4, the couple attempted to use two counterfeit $50 bills to pay for the room.
• At 3:18 p.m. Sept. 4, police were sent to First National Bank, 104 E. Locust St., for a report of counterfeit money. Bank staff found a counterfeit $20 bill, identified by a scanning machine. It was unclear from where the bank had received the bill.
At 10:51 p.m. Sept. 5, police were sent to the 200 block of East Pine Street for a report of possible shots fired. It was confirmed later that a round from a firearm traveled through one residence into another residence, through a shared ceiling/floor.
When police arrived, the residence was surrounded by officers and the inhabitants told to exit.
Once outside the building, the residents of the apartment in which the shot was allegedly fired were told to step away from the residence with their hands in their air. A K9 unit went into the residence to see if other people were injured or armed inside. The scene was cleared.
A bullet hole was found in the kitchen ceiling of one residence. The ceiling, counters and wood floor had damage from the bullet. Police were told the bullet came from an accidental discharge of an AR-15 rifle from the upstairs apartment. The three residents of that apartment were taken to the River Falls Police Department and interviewed.
The first resident said he lives with Michael C. Fleming, 39, River Falls. The first resident said Fleming drinks heavily on a regular basis and alleged Fleming was trying to question him about staying in his room before the incident. The first resident said he had personal things going on — dealing with the suicide of a close friend and other issues he did not wish to discuss. He stayed in his room, played video games and his guitar. The first resident said Fleming became upset and banged on his door, yelling at him.
The first resident said he became afraid enough of Fleming that he placed his AK-47 on his bed for self defense if needed but would not say why he was so frightened. He said eventually Fleming went away and he didn't hear anything else until he received a call from Pierce County emergency dispatch, which told him to go outside. He followed the dispatcher's instructions and went outside and was taken into police custody. The first resident told police that Fleming had fired a bullet into the ceiling a few months ago.
The third resident told police before they arrived, he heard a loud argument between Fleming and the first resident. The third resident said they were accusing each other of alcohol/drug abuse. The third roommate said the argument was loud enough he asked both to stop arguing and talk about it the next day. About 15 — 20 minutes after the argument, the third resident heard a gunshot, went to Fleming's room and saw Fleming with an AR-15 rifle without a magazine on the bed. Fleming told police that he had accidentally fired the gun.
Fleming was allegedly drunk while handling the firearm. He had red bloodshot eyes and strong odor of alcohol coming from his person when police spoke with him. He was taken to Pierce County Jail for disorderly conduct and endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon.
Minor possess tobacco
At 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept 6, River Falls High School janitorial staff told police they smelled smoke from a vaporizer in a downstairs bathroom near the band room. Police reviewed security video footage and identified a 16-year-old student as one who had been vaping in the men's room. A vape was found in his pocket. He denied it was his. The juvenile said no one else was in the bathroom vaping and that the vapor contained no tobacco. Marijuana was found inside the juvenile's wallet. The teen claimed grass may have gotten into the wallet. The leafy green substance later tested positive for marijuana. The teen was charged with possession of tobacco. He was given a school sanction for the marijuana possession. Another 16-year-old who had also allegedly been vaping in the bathroom was cited for possession of tobacco. Both teens' parents were informed.
Possess drug paraphernalia
At 6:19 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, police were sent to a residence in the 300 block of Broadway Street for a woman smoking marijuana outside the front door. Katy Lynn Houlihan, 20, River Falls, answered the door when police knocked at the residence. An odor of marijuana near the residence became noticeably stronger when Houlihan opened the door. Houlihan admitted to smoking marijuana. When police asked to search her residence she asked if it was OK if she brought the marijana items to officers instead of them searching the residence.
She was given two choices: To have police apply for and likely receive a search warrant and search her residence, or to provide consent and have police search her residence. She gave consent and police found a glass bong and a container containing marijuana. She was verbally warned for possession of marijuana and cited $187 for possess drug paraphernalia.
OWI arrest after pursuit
At 7:21 p.m. Sept. 10, police were sent to Main Street and Paulson Road for a driving complaint. A witness allegedly saw a vehicle driving all over the road, at one point almost going into the ditch. According to the witness, the vehicle went into the McDonald's parking lot, 1505 Paulson Road.
Police found the vehicle pulling out of the parking lot and driving eastbound toward Main Street.
Police followed the vehicle north on Main Street. Police saw the driver leaning over toward the center console area, not wearing a seatbelt. The vehicle appeared to be tailgating the vehicle in front of it. Police estimated the vehicle as less than 4 feet from the vehicle in front of it.
Police activated emergency lights to pull the vehicle over near Pomeroy Street. The vehicle turned westbound on Pomeroy Street, traveling about 10 miles per hour, then north onto St. Croix Street into the driveway between Ace Hardware and WESTconsin Credit Union. Police activated sirens to get the vehicle to stop as it was still going. The vehicle turned into the WESTconsin parking lot, then accelerated "at a high rate of speed" the wrong way through the empty WESTconsin drive through. The vehicle began traveling southbound on St. Croix Street at a high rate of speed. Police estimated between 45 and 50 miles per hour.
The pursuing officer contacted emergency dispatch to report being in vehicle pursuit. The vehicle attempted to turn left onto Pomeroy Street. It mounted the curb creating a large amount of dust in the air and came back on Pomeroy Street. When it came off of the curb, it came close to striking another vehicle. Police closed the distance behind the fleeing vehicle, which appeared to be disabled, with the engine grinding audibly over the sound of the siren.
The vehicle finally stopped and officers approached the vehicle with firearms drawn. The driver exited the vehicle, went on his knees with hands on top of his head but did not follow commands to go face-down. He was "assisted" to the ground and handcuffed behind his back. Police could smell the odor of alcohol on the man's person.
The driver was identified as Isaac Dean Phillips 20, Arkansaw. Phillips was taken to the parking lot behind the former Perkins and uncuffed. Police found an open bottle of hard alcohol in the passenger seat of Phillips' vehicle. He admitted to drinking that evening and said he ran because he did not have a license, had been drinking and was on probation. Standardized field sobriety tests indicated intoxication. He was arrested for OWI, fleeing an officer, OWI-second offense, operating after revocation, bail jumping and a probation hold.
On the way to the police department Phillips allegedly told the officer driving "I'm going to f*** you up."
He was cited $500 for OWI-second and $250 operating while revoked. Phillips refused to submit an evidentiary chemical test of his blood. A search warrant was granted and officers escorted Phillips to the hospital to draw blood. After that, he was taken to St. Croix County Jail.
A K-9 unit from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department searched Phillips' vehicle and found a plastic baggie with cocaine residue.
At 11:27 p.m. Saturday, Sept 8, police were sent to the 100 block of Memory Drive for a man passed out in the grass between an apartment and the sidewalk. When police pulled up, they saw a man emerge from that area and stagger toward the front door of the apartment complex. The man was drunk and attempted to walk into the apartment. He had trouble keeping his balance and was missing a shoe. He was identified by his driver's license as Hunter Duane Eggebraaten, 19, Star Prairie. When asked if he lived at the residence, he said no, but his friends did. When police asked him how drunk he was, he allegedly said "I'm lit, bro." His preliminary breath test result read .163. He was cited $187 for underage drinking and released to sober friends.